Pak envoy says ´dialogue is indispensable´ to resolving tensions between India, Pakistan

Pakistan High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood on Thursday advocated talks and sustained engagement between the two countries to find common ground for improvement of bilateral relations. Quoting Pakistan Prime minister Imran Khan, Mahmood said it is time to move away from the blame game and try to resolve long-standing bilateral issues. “More and more engagement between both the countries is needed for better mutual understanding and finding common ground. In order to achieve that we need to talk,” Mahmood told reporters on the sidelines of a programme here. Dialogue is indispensable and no issue can be resolved without talking to each other, he said. His comments come in the backdrop of the Indian High Commission in Islamabad strongly raising with Pakistan the alleged attempts to hack the social media account of one of its diplomats and incidents of close tailing of the Indian envoy and his deputy. Referring to cancellation of the Indo-Pak foreign minister-level talks in New York last year, Mahmood said both the countries, however, managed to work together for the Kartarpur Corridor initiative. “The two countries had agreed for foreign ministers´ talks in New York. Unfortunately, we saw that it did not materialize, but then again the two countries were able to work together when the Kartarpur initiative was taken and now the two countries will be talking to develop the modalities as well, so we have some process getting underway,” he said. The Pakistan envoy said the relationship of India and Pakistan was complicated and it is a challenge for the two sides to find a way to move forward. “Again the primary thing is the possibility of sustained engagement that leads to addressing of mutual concerns and finding a common ground to move forward,” he said. Mahmood said Khan had repeatedly stated that both the countries need to have an improved relationship. “There was a telephonic conversation (of Imran Khan) with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Then there was exchange of letters also in which both sides reiterated the desire for constructive engagement and he (Imran Khan) has said that it is important to move away from the blame game and try to resolve the issues that have been long standing,” he said.